The idea that started this mix is basically the reason I started playing around with mixes in the first place. When I got Missy Elliott’s The Cookbook last year, I knew that I recognized the “music makes you lose control” phrase from somewhere else. It wasn’t until I became obsessed with remixes and, in particular, the work of Jacques Lu Cont/Thin White Duke that I remembered where I had heard it before: Jacques Lu Cont’s first foray into electronic music, his group The Les Rythmes Digitales and their song “Music Makes You Lose Control.”
Then while trying to find every Jacques Lu Cont/Thin White Duke remix I could, I came across his amazing remix of that very Missy Elliott song, “Lose Control,” as well as the Faint’s “The Conductor” from their Danse Macabre Remixes remix album.
Throughout all of those mixes I was mesmerized by the repetition of the word “control.” I imagined how cool it would be to mix all the songs together and really emphasize the similarities despite the fact that they were totally different songs.
In fact, my first attempt at making a mix started off with these same three songs, but I scrapped that idea since I didn’t feel I had the skills I wanted and did the Destroy Rock (And Roll) mix instead.
After that mix and playing around with mixing for a while, I figured it was time to revisit my original idea. To make things a bit more exciting I decided that I was going to try to take elements from surrounding sounds and place them in different songs. This would create somewhat of a weave idea. What I mean is, you have songs A, B, and C. You sample something from song B and include that element in songs A and C. For the Music Make You Lose Control mix I started with the phrase “music makes you lose control.” I got an isolated sample of the words from the original version of Missy Elliott’s “Lose Control.”
It turns out that finding isolated things from other songs wouldn’t be as easy, so I scrapped that idea (though I intend to experiment with it more in later mixes) and just reused that phrase “music makes you lose control” throughout the entirety of the song. I realize, now, that it gets tired after a while… so consider it something of an formal practice of something or a very obvious attempt at trying out a new (to me) technique.
Once I had the first three songs put together, I wanted to somehow maintain the idea of music losing control. This doesn’t seem to be the case for “Fearless” as much, but I really liked the Richard X remix and compared to the original, this one has far more beeps and blips, so I tossed it in.
With the Vitalic remix of “Technologic,” the music really does lose control. I consider this song to be a meltdown of sorts, especially when the somewhat industrial sounding noises start creeping into the end of “Fearless.” Back when I was playing around with the idea of weaving sounds, I had those strange noises break into “Fearless” much earlier. It’s great zip zapping sound, and I definitely want to reuse it again somewhere.
The idea of everything falling apart continued into the nosiest Madonna remix I’ve ever heard: the Green Velvet mix of “Sorry.” Like the Destroy Rock (And Roll) mix, I felt compelled to include Madonna. I especially liked the idea that such a pristine poppy song such as “Sorry” could sound so different and alien.
The height of things falling apart, however, is when Dimitri Tikovoi’s remix of Goldfrapp’s “Twist” cuts into the tail end of “Sorry.” If “Technologic” and “Sorry” introduced strange distortion noises, the crunching almost-organic stuff in “Twist” takes things to a new level. I contemplated using another Jacques Lu Cont remix (the “Conversion Pervsion” remix), but figured that might be overkill. Plus, as I said before, the mix I used is delightfully bizarre.
Also, I must note, I think the transition between “Sorry” and “Twist” is probably the best in the mix. I love how the sounds from “Twist” create something of a symbiotic invasion at the end of “Sorry” and how you really cannot tell that they are leading into a new song. The transition makes me think of Tetsuo from Akira morphing with that energy at the end of the movie. Initially, I didn’t like the Dimitri Tikovoi remix of “Twist” since it took so long to get into the singing, but by layering it with “Sorry” you don’t even notice.
So at this point I guess I figured, Well, music has lost control and now things are sounding like we’re on another planet… (and a scary one, at that). I could’ve kept going darker and stranger, but instead I decided that when music breaks down it turns into happier dancier music. Hence, the DahlbÃ¤ck & DahlbÃ¤ck remix of The Knife’s “Pass This On.” Those familiar with Destroy Rock (And Roll) may remember that The Knife’s “Silent Shout” was the height of darkness in that mix. To change things up a bit, I decided to show the lighter side of The Knife for Music Make You Lose Control.
Following up “Pass This On” was the most difficult part of this mix. For some reason, the beats at the end are extremely difficult to align with anything else. I remember being stumped here for quite some time. Then I heard the Armand Van Helden song “Sugar” somewhere and it got stuck in my end. Inevitably, it ended up in this mix, and although the transition isn’t great by any means, it’s better than anything else I tried. There isn’t much to say about the song itself other than the fact I like it, it’s catchy, and somewhat cheesy. Like I said, when music lost control it sorta spun off into a cheesy dance house world.
Perhaps, though, the height of turning into pop music would be to include something by Britney Spears… and oh, look at what I did! I included the totally awesome Felix Da Housecat remix of “Toxic.” I came across this remix back when I was really into Felix Da Housecat remixes (his best ever: “Playgirl” by Ladytron) and have wanted to share it with the world ever since. The song clocks in at 143 beats-per-minute, which makes it one of the faster songs I’ve included in a mix (most hover in the 125-135 range).
Following Britney’s act is a less-pop, but more-cool song by LCD Soundsystem: the Tiga remix of “Tribulations.” This transition works pretty well, and I love how for about a minute into “Tribulations” we still hear the Britster crooning “Toxic.” But why did I include this song? Good question. To be perfectly honest, “Tribulations” and “After Dark” by Le Tigre (and “Sugar” as well) weren’t included for any thematic reason. I liked the songs and thought they fit somewhat well into the mix.
The closing song, however, I had planned from the beginning. For those who don’t know, “Out of Control” by the Chemical Brothers is probably my all-time favorite song. Vocals are done by Bernard Sumner from New Order and Bobby Gilespie from Primal Scream contributes, as well, making the song a powerhouse of goodness, as far as I’m concerned. The lyrics of the song also allude back to the original idea for this mix: control.
So there it is: the second mix. Ultimtely, I feel that this mix isn’t as good as Destroy Rock (And Roll). I had too many thematic ideas for the first part (“control” and that breakdown of music thing) and after that everything just went sort of crazy. I should have tried to do a mix focusing on one of the ideas at a time or do a totally eclectic mix. Also, I feel that this one lacks the “shine factor” that I felt for the first mix. These songs feel too gritty or something (despite having songs like “Sugar” and “Toxic” and even “Tribulations” and “After Dark”). I feel that this mix has a more pastel or muted-color palette, which I don’t like as much.
A final thing worth noting: I’ve decided to take a “DJ name:” Who Shot JR? I think this is a great idea since my initials are J.R. and I love Dallas so much. I may have to add a “DJ” before it, but for now I just want to be Who Shot JR?
So what’s next? I’m already 80% finished with the Gay Pride 2006 remix (and yes, I realize that Seattle Pride was last weekend (I actually thought that it was in July until a week before it happened). So far I’m really excited about the mix. It’s totally cheesy but everything transitions nicely and you feel like you are in a gay club (which is the intention). The playlist includes my favorite songs from Neighbours from the past year or so.
00:00 — “Music Makes Your Lose Control” by Les Rythmes Digitales
02:32 — “Lose Control” (Jacques Lu Cont remix) by Missy Elliott
09:06 — “The Conductor” (Thin White Duke remix) by The Faint
16:08 — “Fearless” (Richard X remix) by The Bravery
21:49 — “Technologic” (Vitalic remix) by Daft Punk
26:46 — “Sorry” (Green Velvet remix) by Madonna
30:52 — “Twist” (Dimitri Tikovoi remix) by Goldfrapp
36:30 — “Pass This On” (DahlbÃ¤ck & DahlbÃ¤ck remix) by the Knife
40:56 — “Sugar” (original club mix) by Armand Van Helden
47:43 — “Toxic” (Felix da Housecat’s club mix) by Britney Spears
53:30 — “Tribulations” (Tiga’s Out of the Trance Closet mix) by LCD Soundsystem
59:46 — “After Dark” (Morel’s Pink Noise vocal mix) by Le Tigre
65:18 — “Out of Control” by the Chemical Brothers
Download “Music Make You Lose Control” (very low-quality)
If you want a CD version of the mix, let me know and I might go ahead and send you one. I will be designing a CD cover and everything (and will update this post once that has happened).